I wondered how long I could retain the excitement of winter break (coming soon on the blog!) and put off the humdrum college life, but the interminably grueling rhythm of assignments has commenced. I was supposed to watch The Imitation Game with Kevin today, but after getting back from Saturday’s swim meet later than expected, I was too anxious about school work to properly enjoy a movie and thus opted out. Kevin still went though, which I’m glad about. He says it was great. I need to get around to it.
I don’t know how you picture my life to be, but I know that whenever I read blogs, though I am aware that what you see on v/blogs isn’t the whole picture and that v/bloggers only show you what they want to show you which often means only the most interesting parts of their life, I always end up wondering, “What the heck am I doing with my life? Why can’t I be as cool as them?” I’m looking through my blog right now and my life doesn’t seem too extraordinary so you probably don’t feel that way about me, but today was even more unfabulous, the most average of average days, and you’ll see how the typical college student really spends her weekend.
With my plans cancelled, I had the whole Sunday at my disposal. Such a feeling has not been experienced for awhile. With all this freedom, I decided grab brunch with a friend at the campus dining hall to force myself out of bed, and then like any college student, we headed to the library.
I either spend every hour of the day devouring books with my eyes or I don’t touch one for months. I for one have not done any independent reading since school started this semester. When was the last time you’ve been to the library for the pure pleasure of reading? Seeing Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell sitting on the shelf in the Quita* Corner of the library, I just had to pick it up. It had been on my TBR list for ages but was always checked out no matter where I went: my high school library, my college library, the public library. One book led to another and I was reeled in, nose burrowed deep in blurbs.
Despite taking reading-heavy classes this semester (Intro to Cultural Anthropology, Intro to Sociology, Intro to Linguistics, Advanced Chinese), I’m determined to get a move on with my GoodReads 2015 Reading Challenge. I figure that whenever I’m bored with textbook readings and find myself drifting off, I can take a break, maybe do a little yoga, do a little independent reading to get a flow going, and then go back to the assigned reading. Perhaps I’ll also find myself more inspired when writing blog posts.
*Gertrude Houston “Quita” Woodward was a Bryn Mawr alumna (class of 1932) who died at the age of 25. In her memory, the Woodward family donated funds to restore a wing of the Thomas Library, including an informal reading room dedicated to leisure pursuits and fun reading.
I was actually in the midst of reading The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise by Julia Stuart, which I bought from Mollie Used Books while in Taiwan over winter break. Actually, that’s an overstatement; I read one chapter and reread the second chapter ten times, because I could never remember where I left off. I think part of the reason it is so difficult for me to follow is because I am unfamiliar with British literature/culture and it took me forever to figure out what a Beefeater was. I even wondered whether or not I was reading a fantasy novel! But after some Googling, I can confirm that Beefeaters and the the Tower of London are indeed real things. Londoners, please excuse my ignorance!
Despite not finishing that book, I checked out Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell before it could be checked out by someone else. Because I only have the books I checked out for a limited time, I decided to temporarily put The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise on hold. Another book I checked out is The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling, which has been on my TBR list for awhile too, because, well, J.K. Rowling! I’m really interested to read “her first venture into adult fiction.” If you’re interested in reading this book too, here’s a tip from the Internet to me to you: don’t read it just because it’s by J.K. Rowling, don’t compare this to her previous works, and don’t expect it to be like Harry Potter. There were so many more books I wanted to check out, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish all of them before the due date, so the one last book I chose was The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara. This one hasn’t been on my TBR list, but the cover caught my eye, and I was sold as soon as I saw the word “anthropologist” in the blurb (recall that I’m taking Intro to Cultural Anthropology this semester).
Books I’ll be back to the Quita Corner for are A Game Of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (so excited for the fifth season!), The Collective by Don Lee (my best friend goes to Macalester), Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan, My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff, 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami, and Object Lessons: The Art Of The Short Story by The Paris Review, all of which have been on my TBR list, except for that last one. Object Lessons caught my eye because of the spine/cover, the word “Paris” (one of my many dream destinations), and the topic of short stories. I was introduced to short stories during my freshman year of high school and was amazed by how such a short arrangement of words could leave me everything from in hysterics to questioning my life. During my junior year of high school I was introduced to essays and was particularly fascinated by E.B. White’s. A collection of essays I really, really, really want to read soon is Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay.
Ah, it’s been awhile since I’ve geeked out on books… the good old days! I remember in elementary school my parents would take my brothers and me to Barnes & Nobles on the weekends and we’d spend a whole day there reading all the books our parents wouldn’t let us buy. The simple pleasures.
Have you read any of these books? What’s on your TBR list? Feel free to comment below!